JOHN DAY - U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch co-sponsored a resolution before Congress a few years ago to declare the month of October as "Family History Month." This resolution has been renewed each year since then to honor the second most popular hobby in our country.

Family history or genealogy is a means to learn more about our ancestors and the heritage they passed down to present generations, said the Grant County Genealogy Society. Genealogy is a study of history. In school, students study about historical events. In genealogy, we learn about our ancestors who took part in or lived at the time of these historical events, such as the wagon trains coming west on the Oregon Trail or great-grandpa bringing his bride west on the Oregon Trail to his homestead.

"Help celebrate Family History Month by sharing a part of your family's heritage with your family" is the invitation from the Genealogy Society. Children learning Oregon history or about the Oregon Trail, may want a look at great-grandma's diary of the trip west or stories about settling in the west. If grandpa worked in the logging industry or mills that are no longer around, perhaps he can share stories of his work. A tool passed down from one generation to the next also has a story to be shared about its use in the family's history, such as the froe that was used to make shingles for the roof of the house to keep the family dry. Local historians know that history comes alive when we realize our ancestors were a part of the event being studied.

Grant County Genealogical Society members encourage everyone in some way to observe this special month and to recognize their ancestors and the parts they played in the history of our country.

The Grant County Genealogical Society will open its library, located at Mt. Vernon City Hall, to the public beginning Oct. 10. Hours will be 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Society members will be in attendance during these scheduled times to offer help.

The society has received donations of several boxes of genealogical books and materials from a genealogical society and persons in the Willamette Valley. They wish to share the materials with the public to aid them in research of their ancestors.

The next no-host historical luncheon will be held at noon Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Outpost Pizza, Pub & Grill in John Day. Jack Southworth of Bear Valley will show a slide presentation. The public is invited.

Pictures of barns are being gathered throughout Grant County for the 2004 Heritage Quilt Project. Picture of barns in the county built prior to 1920 and would be appreciated; contact Nadia Schultz at (541) 820-3752. The barns do not currently need to be standing.

For more information call Linda Cook at (541) 575-2757 or Jeannette Harrison at (541) 932-4718.

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